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Notice

Waivers Granted to and Alternative Requirements for the State of Louisiana's CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant Under the Department of Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations To Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, HUD.

ACTION:

Notice of waivers, alternative requirements, and statutory program requirements.

SUMMARY:

This notice describes additional waivers and alternative requirements applicable to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster recovery grant provided to the State of Louisiana for the purpose of assisting in the recovery in the most impacted and distressed areas related to the consequences of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. On February 13, 2006, HUD published an allocation and application notice applicable to this grant and four others under the same appropriation. As described in the Supplementary Information section of this notice, HUD is authorized by statute to waive statutory and regulatory requirements and specify alternative requirements for this purpose, upon the request of the state grantee. This notice Start Printed Page 34452for the State of Louisiana also notes statutory provisions affecting program design and implementation.

DATES:

Effective Date: June 14, 2006.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jan C. Opper, Director, Disaster Recovery and Special Issues Division, Office of Block Grant Assistance, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 7286, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number (202) 708-3587. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Fax inquiries may be sent to Mr. Opper at (202) 401-2044. (Except for the “800” number, these telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority To Grant Waivers

The Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-148, approved December 30, 2005) (the 2006 Act) appropriates $11.5 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure directly related to the consequences of the covered disasters. The State of Louisiana received an allocation of $6,200,000,000 from this appropriation. The 2006 Act authorizes the Secretary to waive, or specify alternative requirements for, any provision of any statute or regulation that the Secretary administers in connection with the obligation by the Secretary or use by the recipient of these funds and guarantees, except for requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and the environment, upon a request by the state and a finding by the Secretary that such a waiver would not be inconsistent with the overall purpose of the statute. The following waivers and alternative requirements are in response to written requests from the State of Louisiana. The Secretary is still considering additional requests related to the state's pending action plan amendment; any granted waivers related to those requests will be published later.

The Secretary finds that the following waivers and alternative requirements, as described below, are not inconsistent with the overall purpose of 42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq., Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended (the 1974 Act); or of 42 U.S.C. 12704 et seq., the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended.

Under the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3535(q)), regulatory waivers must be published in the Federal Register. The Department is also using this notice to provide information about other ways in which the requirements for this grant vary from regular CDBG program rules. Therefore, HUD is using this notice to make public alternative requirements and to note the applicability of disaster recovery-related statutory provisions. Compiling this information in a single notice creates a helpful resource for Louisiana grant administrators and HUD field staff. Waivers and alternative requirements regarding the common application and reporting process for all grantees under this appropriation were published in a prior notice (71 FR 7666, published February 13, 2006).

Except as described in notices regarding this grant, the statutory and regulatory provisions governing the Community Development Block Grant program for states, including those at 24 CFR part 570, shall apply to the use of these funds.

Descriptions of Changes

This section of the notice briefly describes the basis for each waiver and provides an explanation of related alternative requirements, if additional explanation is necessary. This Descriptions section also highlights some of the statutory items and alternative requirements described in the sections that follow.

The waivers, alternative requirements, and statutory changes apply only to the CDBG supplemental disaster recovery funds appropriated in the 2006 Act and allocated to the State of Louisiana. These actions provide additional flexibility in program design and implementation and note statutory requirements unique to this appropriation.

Eligibility and National Objectives

Eligibility—buildings for the general conduct of government. The state requested a limited waiver of the prohibition on funding buildings for the general conduct of government. HUD considered the request and agreed that it is consistent with the overall purposes of the 1974 Act for the state to be able to use the grant funds under this notice to fund the local and state government match for critical FEMA Public-Assistance projects that the state has selected in accordance with the method described in its Action Plan for Disaster Recovery and that the state has determined have substantial value in promoting disaster recovery.

General planning activities use entitlement presumption. The annual state CDBG program requires that local government grant recipients for planning-only grants must document that the use of funds meets a national objective. In the state CDBG program, these planning grants are typically used for individual project plans. By contrast, planning activities carried out by entitlement communities are more likely to include non-project specific plans such as functional land use plans, historic preservation plans, comprehensive plans, development of housing codes, and neighborhood plans related to guiding long-term community development efforts comprising multiple activities funded by multiple sources. In the annual entitlement program, these more general stand-alone planning activities are presumed to meet a national objective under the requirements at 24 CFR 570.208(d)(4). The Department notes that almost all effective CDBG disaster recoveries in the past have relied on some form of area-wide or comprehensive planning activity to guide overall redevelopment independent of the ultimate source of implementation funds. Therefore the Department is removing the eligibility requirement that CDBG disaster recovery assisted planning only grants or state directly administered planning activities that will guide recovery in accordance with the appropriations act must comply with the state CDBG program rules at 24 CFR 570.483(b)(5) or (c)(3).

Special economic development job retention activities. Under the public benefit implementing regulations, CDBG grantees are limited to a specified annual amount of CDBG assistance per job retained or created or amount of CDBG assistance per low- and moderate-income person to whom goods or services are provided by the assisted activity. Grantees must maintain documentation to show that a job is a retained job or a created job and that the job was made available to or taken by a low- and moderate-income person. This policy and the specified documentation work well and are suitable for relatively small-scale economic development programs of hundreds of thousands or a few millions of dollars and tens or hundreds of businesses. The State of Louisiana plans to undertake a special economic development portfolio whose size will exceed $200 million and serve thousands of businesses. The state has requested regulatory waivers related to public benefit documentation that will help it to implement the bridge loan Start Printed Page 34453program's large-scale disaster recovery special economic development activities in a short timeframe.

Eligibility—housing related. The waiver that allows new housing construction and payment of up to 100 percent of a housing down payment is necessary following major disasters in which large numbers of affordable housing units have been damaged or destroyed, as is the case in the disasters eligible under this notice.

Compensation for disaster-related losses or housing incentives to resettle in Louisiana. The state plans to provide compensation to certain homeowners whose homes were damaged during the covered disasters, if the homeowners agree to meet the stipulations of the published program design. The state may also offer disaster recovery or mitigation housing incentives to promote housing development or resettlement in particular geographic areas. The Department is waiving the 1974 Act and associated regulations to make these uses of grant funds eligible.

Eligibility—tourism. The state plans to provide disaster recovery grant assistance to support the tourism industry and promote travel to communities in the disaster-impacted areas and has requested an eligibility waiver for such activities. Tourism industry support, such as a national consumer awareness advertising campaign for an area in general, is ineligible for CDBG assistance. However, Congress did make such support eligible, within limits, for the CDBG disaster recovery funds appropriated for recovery of Lower Manhattan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and HUD understands that such support can be a useful recovery tool in a damaged regional economy that depends on tourism for many of its jobs and tax revenues. However, because the State of Louisiana is proposing advertising and marketing activities rather than direct assistance to tourism-dependent businesses, and because the measures of long-term benefit from the proposed activities must be derived using regression analysis and other indirect means, the waiver will permit use of no more than $30 million for assistance for the tourism industry, the assisted activities must be designed to support tourism to the most impacted and distressed areas related to the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the waiver will expire two years after the date of this notice, after which previously ineligible support for the tourism industry, such as marketing a community as a whole, will again be ineligible for CDBG disaster recovery funding.

Anti-pirating. The limited waiver of the anti-pirating requirements allows the flexibility to provide assistance to a business located in another state or market area within the same state if the business was displaced from a declared area within the state by the disaster and the business wishes to return. This waiver is necessary to allow a grantee affected by a major disaster to rebuild its employment base.

Program Income

A combination of CDBG provisions limits the flexibility available to the state for the use of program income. Prior to 2002, program income earned on disaster grants has usually been program income in accordance with the rules of the regular CDBG program of the applicable state and has lost its disaster grant identity, thus losing use of the waivers and streamlined alternative requirements. Also, the state CDBG program rule and law are designed for a program in which the state distributes all funds rather than carrying out activities directly. The 1974 Act specifically provides for a local government receiving CDBG grants from a state to retain program income if it uses the funds for additional eligible activities under the annual CDBG program. The 1974 Act allows the state to require return of the program income to the state under certain circumstances. This notice waives the existing statute and regulations to give the state, in all circumstances, the choice of whether a local government receiving a distribution of CDBG disaster recovery funds and using program income for activities in the Action Plan may retain this income and use it for additional disaster recovery activities. In addition, this notice allows program income to the disaster grant generated by activities undertaken directly by the state or its agent(s) to retain the original disaster recovery grant's alternative requirements and waivers and to remain under the state's discretion until grant closeout, at which point any program income on hand or received subsequently will become program income to the state's annual CDBG program. The alternative requirements provide all the necessary conforming changes to the program income regulations.

Relocation Requirements

The state plans to carry out voluntary acquisition and optional relocation activities (partly in a form sometimes called “buyouts”) and has requested waivers related to acquisition and relocation requirements under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.) (the URA) and the replacement of housing and relocation assistance provisions under section 104(d) of the 1974 Act. The state asked that HUD permit the waivers to help promote the acquisition of property and the replacement of housing in a timely and efficient manner. The state believes that these waivers will have little impact on those persons whose property is voluntarily acquired or who are required to move permanently for a federally assisted project.

CDBG funds are Federal financial assistance so their use in projects that involve acquisition of property necessary for a federally assisted project, or that involve acquisition, demolition, or rehabilitation that force a person to move permanently, are subject to the URA and the government wide implementing regulations found at 49 CFR part 24. The URA provides assistance and protections to individuals and businesses affected by Federal or federally assisted projects. HUD is waiving the following URA requirements to help promote accessibility to suitable decent, safe, and sanitary housing for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:

  • The acquisition requirements of the URA and implementing regulations so that they do not apply to an arm's length voluntary purchase carried out by a person that does not have the power of eminent domain, in connection with the purchase and occupancy of a principal residence by that person. According to the state, the failure to suspend these requirements would impede disaster recovery and may result in windfall payments.
  • A limited waiver of the URA implementing regulations to the extent that they require grantees to provide URA financial assistance sufficient to reduce the displaced person's post-displacement rent/utility cost to 30 percent of household income. The failure to suspend these one-size-fits-all requirements could impede disaster recovery. To the extent that a tenant has been paying rents in excess of 30 percent of household income without demonstrable hardship, rental assistance payments to reduce tenant costs to 30 percent would not be required.
  • The URA and implementing regulations to the extent necessary to permit a grantee to meet all or a portion of a grantee's replacement housing financial assistance obligation to a displaced renter by offering rental Start Printed Page 34454housing through a tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) housing program subsidy (e.g., Section 8 rental voucher or certificate) provided that the renter is also provided referrals to suitable, available rental replacement dwellings where the owner is willing to participate in the TBRA program, and the period of authorized assistance is at least 42 months. Failure to grant the waiver would impede disaster recovery whenever TBRA program subsidies are available but funds for cash relocation assistance are limited. The change provides access to an additional relocation resource option.
  • The URA and implementing regulations to the extent that they require a grantee to offer a person displaced from a dwelling unit the option to receive a “moving expense and dislocation allowance” based on the current schedule of allowances prepared by the Federal Highway Administration, provided that the grantee establishes and offers the person a moving expense and dislocation allowance under a schedule of allowances that is reasonable for the jurisdiction and takes into account the number of rooms in the displacement dwelling, whether the person owns and must move the furniture, and, at a minimum, the kinds of expenses described in 49 CFR 24.301. Failure to suspend this provision would impede disaster recovery by requiring grantees to offer allowances that do not reflect current local labor and transportation costs. Persons displaced from a dwelling remain entitled to choose a payment for actual reasonable moving and related expenses if they find that approach preferable to the locally established moving expense and dislocation allowance.

In addition to the URA waivers, HUD is waiving requirements of section 104(d) of the 1974 Act dealing with one-for-one replacement of low- and moderate-income housing units demolished or converted in connection with a CDBG-assisted development project for housing units damaged by one or more disasters. HUD is waiving this requirement because it does not take into account the large, sudden changes a major disaster may cause to the local housing stock, population, or local economy. Further, the requirement does not take into account the threats to public health and safety and to economic revitalization that may be caused by the presence of disaster-damaged structures that are unsuitable for rehabilitation. As it stands, the requirement would impede disaster recovery and discourage grantees from acquiring, converting, or demolishing disaster-damaged housing because of excessive costs that would result from replacing all such units within the specified timeframe. HUD is also waiving the relocation assistance requirements contained in section 104(d) of the 1974 Act to the extent they differ from those of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.). This change will simplify implementation while preserving statutory protections for persons displaced by Federal projects.

The state has provided the following additional reason for these waivers related to its decision to administer policy for the funds under this notice and for FEMA mitigation funding through the same agencies. The statutory requirements of the URA are also applicable to the administration of FEMA assistance, and disparities in rental assistance payments for activities funded by HUD and that agency will thus be eliminated. FEMA is subject to the requirements of the URA. Pursuant to this authority, FEMA requires that rental assistance payments be calculated on the basis of the amount necessary to lease or rent comparable housing for a period of 42 months. HUD is also subject to these requirements, but is also covered by alternative relocation provisions authorized under 42 U.S.C. 5304(d)(2)(A)(iii) and (iv) and implementing regulations at 24 CFR 42.350. These alternative relocation benefits, available to low- and moderate-income displacees opting to receive them in certain HUD programs, require the calculation of similar rental assistance payments on the basis of 60 months, rather than 42 months, thereby creating a disparity between the available benefits offered by HUD and FEMA (although not always an actual cash difference). The waiver assures uniform and equitable treatment by allowing the URA benefits requirements to be the standard for assistance under this notice.

Timely Distribution of Funds

The state CDBG program regulation regarding timely distribution of funds is at 24 CFR 570.494. This provision is designed to work in the context of an annual program in which almost all grant funds are distributed to units of general local government. Because the state may use disaster recovery grant funds to carry out activities directly, and because Congress expressly allowed this grant to be available until expended, HUD is waiving this requirement. However, HUD expects the State of Louisiana to expeditiously obligate and expend all funds, including any recaptured funds or program income, in carrying out activities in a timely manner.

Waivers and Alternative Requirements

1. Program income alternative requirement. 42 U.S.C. 5304(j) and 24 CFR 570.489(e) are waived to the extent that they conflict with the rules stated in the program income alternative requirement below. The following alternative requirement applies instead. a. Program income. (1) For the purposes of this subpart, “program income” is defined as gross income received by a state, a unit of general local government, a Tribe or a subrecipient of a unit of general local government or a Tribe that was generated from the use of CDBG funds, except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. When income is generated by an activity that is only partially assisted with CDBG funds, the income shall be prorated to reflect the percentage of CDBG funds used (e.g., a single loan supported by CDBG funds and other funds; a single parcel of land purchased with CDBG funds and other funds). Program income includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) Proceeds from the disposition by sale or long-term lease of real property purchased or improved with CDBG funds;

(ii) Proceeds from the disposition of equipment purchased with CDBG funds;

(iii) Gross income from the use or rental of real or personal property acquired by the unit of general local government or tribe or subrecipient of a state, a tribe or a unit of general local government with CDBG funds; less the costs incidental to the generation of the income;

(iv) Gross income from the use or rental of real property owned by a state, tribe or the unit of general local government or a subrecipient of a state, tribe or unit of general local government, that was constructed or improved with CDBG funds, less the costs incidental to the generation of the income;

(v) Payments of principal and interest on loans made using CDBG funds;

(vi) Proceeds from the sale of loans made with CDBG funds;

(vii) Proceeds from the sale of obligations secured by loans made with CDBG funds;

(viii) Interest earned on program income pending disposition of the income, but excluding interest earned on funds held in a revolving fund account;

(ix) Funds collected through special assessments made against properties owned and occupied by households not of low and moderate income, where the special assessments are used to recover Start Printed Page 34455all or part of the CDBG portion of a public improvement; and

(x) Gross income paid to a state, tribe or a unit of general local government or subrecipient from the ownership interest in a for-profit entity acquired in return for the provision of CDBG assistance.

(2) “Program income” does not include the following:

(i) The total amount of funds which is less than $25,000 received in a single year that is retained by a unit of general local government, tribe or subrecipient;

(ii) Amounts generated by activities eligible under section 105(a)(15) of the Act and carried out by an entity under the authority of section 105(a)(15) of the Act;

(3) The state may permit the unit of general local government or tribe which receives or will receive program income to retain the program income, subject to the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, or the state may require the unit of general local government or tribe to pay the program income to the state.

(i) Program income paid to the state. Program income that is paid to the state or received by the state is treated as additional disaster recovery CDBG funds subject to the requirements of this notice and must be used by the state or distributed to units of general local government in accordance with the state's Action Plan for Disaster Recovery. To the maximum extent feasible, program income shall be used or distributed before the state makes additional withdrawals from the Treasury, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) Program income retained by a unit of general local government or Tribe.

(A) Program income that is received and retained by the unit of general local government or Tribe before closeout of the grant that generated the program income is treated as additional disaster recovery CDBG funds and is subject to the requirements of this notice.

(B) Program income that is received and retained by the unit of general local government or Tribe after closeout of the grant that generated the program income, but that is used to continue the disaster recovery activity that generated the program income, is subject to the waivers and alternative requirements of this notice.

(C) All other program income is subject to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 5304(j) and subpart I of 24 CFR part 570.

(D) The state shall require units of general local government or Tribes, to the maximum extent feasible, to disburse program income that is subject to the requirements of this notice before requesting additional funds from the state for activities, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Revolving funds.

(1) The state may establish or permit units of general local government or Tribes to establish revolving funds to carry out specific, identified activities. A revolving fund, for this purpose, is a separate fund (with a set of accounts that are independent of other program accounts) established to carry out specific activities which, in turn, generate payments to the fund for use in carrying out such activities. These payments to the revolving fund are program income and must be substantially disbursed from the revolving fund before additional grant funds are drawn from the Treasury for revolving fund activities. Such program income is not required to be disbursed for non-revolving fund activities.

(2) The state may also establish a revolving fund to distribute funds to units of general local government or Tribes to carry out specific, identified activities. A revolving fund, for this purpose, is a separate fund (with a set of accounts that are independent of other program accounts) established to fund grants to units of general local government to carry out specific activities which, in turn, generate payments to the fund for additional grants to units of general local government to carry out such activities. Program income in the revolving fund must be disbursed from the fund before additional grant funds are drawn from the Treasury for payments to units of general local government which could be funded from the revolving fund.

(3) A revolving fund established by either the state or unit of general local government shall not be directly funded or capitalized with grant funds.

(c) Transfer of program income. Notwithstanding other provisions of this notice, the state may transfer program income before closeout of the grant that generated the program income to its own annual CDBG program or to any annual CDBG-funded activities administered by a unit of general local government or Indian Tribe within the state.

(d) Program income on hand at the state or its subrecipients at the time of grant closeout by HUD and program income received by the state after such grant closeout shall be program income to the most recent annual CDBG program grant of the state.

2. Housing-related eligibility waivers. 42 U.S.C. 5305(a) is waived to the extent necessary to allow down payment assistance for up to 100 percent of the down payment (42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(24)(D)) and to allow new housing construction.

3. Compensation for loss of housing or incentives to resettle in Louisiana. 42 U.S.C. 5305(a) is waived to the extent necessary to make eligible incentives to resettle in Louisiana or compensation for loss of housing caused by the disaster and in accordance with the state's approved Action Plan and published program design.

4. Planning requirements. For CDBG disaster recovery assisted planning activities that will guide recovery in accordance with the 2006 Act, the state CDBG program rules at 24 CFR 570.483(b)(5) and (c)(3) are waived and the presumption at 24 CFR 570.208(d)(4) applies.

5. Waiver to permit some activities in support of the tourism industry. 42 U.S.C. 5305(a) and 24 CFR 570.489(f) are waived to the extent necessary to make eligible use of no more than $30 million for assistance for the tourism industry, including promotion of a community or communities in general, provided the assisted activities are designed to support tourism to the most impacted and distressed areas related to the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This waiver will expire two years after the date of this notice, after which previously ineligible support for the tourism industry, such as promotion of a community in general, will again be ineligible for CDBG funding.

6. Waiver and modification of the anti-pirating clause to permit assistance to help a business return. 42 U.S.C. 5305(h) and 24 CFR 570.482 are hereby waived only to allow the grantee to provide assistance under this grant to any business that was operating in the covered disaster area before the incident date of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, as applicable, and has since moved in whole or in part from the affected area to another state or to a labor market area within the same state to continue business.

7. Waiver of one-for-one replacement of units damaged by disaster. a. One-for-one replacement requirements at 42 U.S.C. 5304(d)(2) and (d)(3), and 24 CFR 42.375(a) are waived for low- and moderate-income dwelling units (1) damaged by the disaster, (2) for which CDBG funds are used for demolition, and (3) which are not suitable for rehabilitation.

b. Relocation assistance requirements at 42 U.S.C. 5304(d)(2)(A), and 24 CFR 42.359 are waived to the extent they differ from those of the URA and its implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 24.

8. Uniform Relocation Act requirements. The state may apply the Start Printed Page 34456following waivers to activities involving buyouts and other activities covered by the URA and related to disaster recovery housing activities assisted by the funds covered by this notice and included in an approved Action Plan.

a. The requirements at 49 CFR 24.101(b)(2)(i)-(ii) are waived to the extent that they apply to an arm's length voluntary purchase carried out by a person that does not have the power of eminent domain, in connection with the purchase and occupancy of a principal residence by that person.

b. The requirements at 49 CFR 24.2, 24.402(b)(2) and 24.404 are waived to the extent that they require the state to provide URA financial assistance sufficient to reduce the displaced person's post-displacement rent/utility cost to 30 percent of household income. To the extent that a tenant has been paying rents in excess of 30 percent of household income without demonstrable hardship, rental assistance payments to reduce tenant costs to 30 percent would not be required. Before using this waiver, the state must establish a definition of “demonstrable hardship.”

c. The requirements of sections 204 and 205 of the URA, and 49 CFR 24.402(b) are waived to the extent necessary to permit a grantee to meet all or a portion of a grantee's replacement housing financial assistance obligation to a displaced renter by offering rental housing through a tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) housing program subsidy (e.g., Section 8 rental voucher or certificate) provided that the renter is also provided referrals to suitable, available rental replacement dwellings where the owner is willing to participate in the TBRA program, and the period of authorized assistance is at least 42 months.

d. The requirements of section 202(b) of the URA and 49 CFR 24.302 are waived to the extent that they require a grantee to offer a person displaced from a dwelling unit the option to receive a “moving expense and dislocation allowance” based on the current schedule of allowances prepared by the Federal Highway Administration, provided that the grantee establishes and offers the person a moving expense and dislocation allowance under a schedule of allowances that is reasonable for the jurisdiction and takes into account the number of rooms in the displacement dwelling, whether the person owns and must move the furniture, and, at a minimum, the kinds of expenses described in 49 CFR 24.301.

9. Public benefit for the bridge loan activities. For the state's bridge loan activities included in an approved Action Plan for Disaster Recovery and governed by the provisions of 24 CFR 570.482 and 483, public benefit standards at 42 U.S.C. 5305(e)(3) and 24 CFR 570.482(f)(1), (2), (3), (4)(i), (5), (6) are waived, with the following alternative requirements. The grantee shall report and maintain documentation on the bridge-loan-assisted creation and retention of (a) total jobs, (b) number of jobs within certain salary ranges, and (c) types of jobs. Paragraph (g) of 24 CFR 570.482 is also waived to the extent its provisions are related to public benefit.

10. Waiver of State CDBG requirement for timely distribution of funds. 24 CFR 570.494 regarding timely distribution of funds is waived.

11. Buildings for the general conduct of government. 42 U.S.C. 5305(a) and 24 CFR 507.207(a)(1) are waived to the extent necessary to allow the state to use the grant funds under this notice to fund the local and state government match for critical FEMA Public-Assistance projects that the state has selected in accordance with the method described in its Action Plan for Disaster Recovery and that the State has determined have substantial value in promoting disaster recovery.

Notes on Applicable Statutory Requirements

12. Note on the eligibility of providing funds to Enterprise and LISC for certain purposes. The appropriations statute provides that the States of Louisiana and Mississippi may each use up to $20,000,000 (with up to $400,000 each for technical assistance) from funds made available under this heading for LISC and the Enterprise Foundation for activities authorized by section 4 of the HUD Demonstration Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-120, 42 U.S.C. 9816 note), as in effect immediately before June 12, 1997, and for activities authorized under section 11 of the Housing Opportunity Program Extension Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-120, 42 U.S.C. 12805 note), including demolition, site clearance and remediation, and program administration.

13. Notes on rules applicable to flood buyouts activities:

a. Payment of pre-flood values for buyouts. HUD disaster recovery entitlement communities, state grant recipients, and Indian tribes have the discretion to pay pre-flood or post-flood values for the acquisition of properties located in a flood way or floodplain. In using CDBG disaster recovery funds for such acquisitions, the grantee must uniformly apply whichever valuation method it chooses.

b. Ownership and maintenance of acquired property. Any property acquired with disaster recovery grants funds being used to match FEMA Section 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds is subject to section 404(b)(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended, which requires that such property be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity for a use that is compatible with open space, recreational, or wetlands management practices. In addition, with minor exceptions, no new structure may be erected on the property and no subsequent application for Federal disaster assistance may be made for any purpose. The acquiring entity may want to lease such property to adjacent property owners or other parties for compatible uses in return for a maintenance agreement. Although Federal policy encourages leasing rather than selling such property, the property may be sold. In all cases, a deed restriction or covenant running with the land must require that the property be dedicated and maintained for compatible uses in perpetuity.

c. Future Federal assistance to owners remaining in floodplain. (1) Section 582 of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 5154(a)) (Section 582) prohibits flood disaster assistance in certain circumstances. In general, it provides that no Federal disaster relief assistance made available in a flood disaster area may be used to make a payment (including any loan assistance payment) to a person for repair, replacement, or restoration for damage to any personal, residential, or commercial property, if that person at any time has received flood disaster assistance that was conditional on the person first having obtained flood insurance under applicable Federal law and the person has subsequently failed to obtain and maintain flood insurance as required under applicable Federal law on such property. (Section 582 is self-implementing without regulations.) This means that a grantee may not provide disaster assistance for the above-mentioned repair, replacement, or restoration to a person that has failed to meet this requirement.

(2) Section 582 also implies a responsibility for a grantee that receives CDBG disaster recovery funds or that, under 42 U.S.C. 5321, designates annually appropriated CDBG funds for disaster recovery. That responsibility is to inform property owners receiving disaster assistance that triggers the flood insurance purchase requirement that they have a statutory responsibility to Start Printed Page 34457notify any transferee of the requirement to obtain and maintain flood insurance, and that the transferring owner may be liable if he or she fails to do so. These requirements are described below.

(3) Duty to notify. In the event of the transfer of any property described in paragraph d below, the transferor shall, not later than the date on which such transfer occurs, notify the transferee in writing of the requirements to:

(a) Obtain flood insurance in accordance with applicable Federal law with respect to such property, if the property is not so insured as of the date on which the property is transferred; and

(b) Maintain flood insurance in accordance with applicable Federal law with respect to such property.

Such written notification shall be contained in documents evidencing the transfer of ownership of the property.

(4) Failure to notify. If a transferor fails to provide notice as described above and, subsequent to the transfer of the property:

(a) The transferee fails to obtain or maintain flood insurance, in accordance with applicable Federal law, with respect to the property;

(b) The property is damaged by a flood disaster; and

(c) Federal disaster relief assistance is provided for the repair, replacement, or restoration of the property as a result of such damage. The transferor must reimburse the Federal Government in an amount equal to the amount of the Federal disaster relief assistance provided with respect to the property.

d. The notification requirements apply to personal, commercial, or residential property for which Federal disaster relief assistance made available in a flood disaster area has been provided, prior to the date on which the property is transferred, for repair, replacement, or restoration of the property, if such assistance was conditioned upon obtaining flood insurance in accordance with applicable Federal law with respect to such property.

e. The term “Federal disaster relief assistance” applies to HUD or other Federal assistance for disaster relief in “flood disaster areas.” The prohibition in subparagraph (1) above applies only when the new disaster relief assistance was given for a loss caused by flooding. It does not apply to disaster assistance caused by other sources (i.e., earthquakes, fire, wind, etc.). The term “flood disaster area”' is defined in section 582(d)(2) to include an area receiving a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or emergency as a result of flood conditions.

14. Non-Federal Cost Sharing of Army Corps of Engineers Projects. Public Law 105-276, title II, October 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2478, provided in part that: “For any fiscal year, of the amounts made available as emergency funds under the heading ‘Community Development Block Grants Fund’ and notwithstanding any other provision of law, not more than $250,000 may be used for the non-Federal cost-share of any project funded by the Secretary of the Army through the Corps of Engineers.”

Finding of No Significant Impact

A Finding of No Significant Impact with respect to the environment has been made in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 50, which implement section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). The Finding of No Significant Impact is available for public inspection between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, please schedule an appointment to review the finding by calling the Regulations Division at (202) 708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number).

Start Signature

Dated: May 26, 2006.

Pamela H. Patenaude,

Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 06-5383 Filed 6-9-06; 9:06 am]

BILLING CODE 4210-67-P